COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It's almost time for Santa Claus to climb into his sleigh and take to the skies with his reindeer to deliver presents around the world.
As he makes his annual trip, you can actively track where he is and where he's going on Christmas Eve, all thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which has its headquarters in Colorado Springs.
For the first time, you can sit back and watch Santa's journey with our free streaming app 9NEWS+, found on Roku and Fire TV.
9NEWS+ brings you live and on-demand local and breaking news, 24/7 — and all on your schedule.
9NEWS+ will begin following Santa's journey at 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23.
"NORAD Tracks Santa" has tracked Santa as he traverses the globe since 1955. The holiday tradition began when a local Sears store in Colorado Springs printed a newspaper ad that invited kids to call a certain phone number to talk to Santa. The number was misprinted, and the calls ended up going to the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD's predecessor.
The colonel on duty that night realized the mistake. He ordered his officers and his troops to start tracking Santa using their systems and telling the kids where Santa was throughout the night.
Kids across the U.S. have been calling 1-877-HI-NORAD (877-446-6723) for decades, and hundreds of volunteers comprised of military members, Defense Department civilians, their families and supporters have been answering.
The call center opens at 4 a.m. MT on Saturday, Dec. 24. You can also track Santa online.
NORAD said while only Santa knows what his exact route will be, history shows that he arrives between 9 p.m. and midnight on Dec. 24 and only when children are asleep.
He typically starts at the International Date Line and travels west, visiting the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia, followed by Japan, Asia, Africa, Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America.
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